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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Rock and Roll Sangria inspired by Vampire$

Rock and Roll Sangria inspired by Vampire$
Here we are, the final Sunday of the month already, and that means it's time to share another all vampire book and a movie challenge post. Kimberly's April selections were Vampire$ by John Steakley (book) and John Carpenter's Vampires (movie). And once again, the movie, while based on a really good book, was crap. Talk about taking away every thing that made the story interesting and intriguing! The only thing that really stayed the same was the name of the main character, Jack Crow and the name of one of the priests, Adam. But the names were the only similarities, as the "character of each character" was not.

The book (1990):

Jack Crow is the leader of a Vatican-sanctioned team of vampire slayers. They are the only ones. The average person does not know about the existence of vampires...until it is too late. From the outside, this team of hardened men appear a motley crue of trouble makers. But when you get an insider's glimpse, you realize that they are a devoted bunch of smart, funny, rough-around-the-edges guys with the biggest hearts. But they're not only guys, because they also have a mama bear who takes care of not only the behind-the-scenes aspects of their team, but of the actual men themselves. They save the world over and over again, while losing those dearest to them.

The vampires in this story are divided into two types: goons/fiends and masters. The ones they see more often are the first kind. Newly turned, newly (un)dead, "young" vampires that are hard to kill, but nowhere near as hard as masters, the older, wiser, faster, stronger variety of vampire. The most effective weapons in this story are wooden stakes and sunlight, but experience and trial-and-error have led them to discover a new weapon.

These vampires also exercise mind control, which is largely how they are able to live undetected to most of the population. And they are brutal monsters...literally the stuff nightmares are made of. No glamorizing going on in this tale.
Vampire$ by John Steakley and John Carpenter's Vampires
The food and drink is represented mostly in the form of alcohol (which seems to be a theme in the stories where vampires are actually scary monsters). Our guys (and girl) work tough and drink tough. It's used as an escape, as a way to celebrate, and a way to hide. They day drink and night drink, because they are in tune with the fact that any minute could be their last.

When actual (non-liquid) food is mentioned, it's a little more offhand and less specific. Steak is mentioned a couple of times, lobster once...and there's a sack of carry-out fast-food, fried chicken, meat pies, and turkey on a stick. As far as food that could be inspired by parts in the book, I was very close to making something using blood sausage or pork (due to a very specific passage).

The movie (1998):

Jack Crow is the leader of just one of a handful (? others teams are mentioned) team of vampire slayers sanctioned by the church. He and his team are assholes without the heart and charisma of the ones in the book. In the movie, the church betrays them (and is the cause of vampirism) instead of supports them. There was zero story development, other than a shoddy backstory for Crow that seemed to be thrown in as an aside. There was a ridiculous "ground emerging" scene (hinting at how closely zombies and vampires really are related).

Food was non-existent beyond a scene with a bag of takeout and a seemingly horrible burger. The main problem (beyond the mangling of the story) was that I found every single character in the movie to be unlikeable...even deplorable (I'm talking about you, Daniel Baldwin).

There were, what I'll call "elevator scenes", in both the book and the movie, but they really don't compare, so I'll leave it at that. And the ending totally sucked (pun intended), as Jack Crow let two vampires "live" and actually escape into the world—something that would never have happened in the book.
Rock and Roll Sangria inspired by Vampire$

My "inspired-by" Sangria:

Blood and booze, two of the main themes in the book (you knew my inspiration would come from the book, right?). Literally, sangria means "bleeding" in spanish. Each component of this sangria represents a character/characters or the team as a whole from the book.

  • Red Wine: I wanted to use red wine since blood is really the main theme. At one point, pretty early on, the team orders "half a dozen bottles of Mondavi red". But there was also a point where "a large silver ice bucket holding a magnum of champagne" was mentioned. I chose to go with an effervescent soft red wine as a nod to both scenes, while keeping it red. Incidentally, I used a local wine called Bubblecraft Red, made here in Indiana—and the opening scene of the book is set in a small Indiana town. Boom.
  • Tequila: a little bit of tequila as a nod to the first meeting between two of our main characters, Jack and Felix. "I spun around and first laid eyes on William Charles Felix, lounging in the door of an abandoned boxcar with a cigarette in his mouth, a bottle of tequilla in his hand, and the biggest shit-eating grin you ever saw in your whole life." They bonded over that bottle. And I swear, tequila is written with two l's in the book. Typo or on purpose? I'm not sure.
  • Cherry Schnapps: our team had some "special schnapps". The kind of schnapps they drank (if there was a single kind) wasn't mentioned. In particular, cherry schnapps is a nod to two of the team members, Cherry Cat and Annabelle (the following is a passage in which Cat is pondering both his and Annabelle's state of intoxication): "Did she? He thought back. She did. In fact, she was the one who had really gotten the serious stuff going with that schnapps shit. Waitaminute! Schnapps! She always drank schnapps. Maybe if I drank schna...Waitaminuteagain! I am drinking schnapps. I've been drinking it. That's how I got so polluted."
  • Iced Tea:  the team often drank this to cool down in between kills on a long, hot "mission". Iced tea and cigarettes in the shade.
  • The fruit: grapefruit and cherries. The cherries are once again a reference to "Cherry Cat". And because fruit wasn't actually mentioned as a means of sustenance in the book, the grapefruit comes from an offhand reference to Annabelle imagining herself keeling backward off of a stool, "skirts flying, and crack her head on the side of the bar like a ripe grapefruit" when she'd had too much to drink.

And when naming it, since it is an ode to the team, I thought it deserved their battle cry, the three words that meant it was time to get started, the words that meant it was time to get down to business—Rock and Roll!
Rock and Roll Sangria

Rock and Roll Sangria
Effervescent red wine is the base for this Sangria infused with tequila, cherry schnapps and tea, plus fresh cherries and grapefruit.
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by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: beverage cherries grapefruit wine

Ingredients (a big pitcher)
  • 2 whole grapefruit
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and stemmed
  • few sprigs each of fresh mint and thyme
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups tea, cold
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup good quality tequila
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cherry schnapps (or cherry brandy)
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle effervescent red wine, such as Oliver Red Bubblecraft
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons agave nectar, optional
  • ice cubes
Peel and segment the grapefruit over a bowl, adding the segments to a pitcher as you go. Once they have been entirely segmented, squeeze what's left of the grapefruit in your hand and reserve the juice. Add 1/2 cup of the juice to your pitcher (drink anything else that's left). If you like, use an extra grapefruit to cut wheels for garnish.

Add the cherries and herbs to the pitcher along with the tea, tequila, and schnapps. Pour in the wine and stir gently. Taste and add agave nectar, if you want it.

Serve immediately, pouring into glasses that have been filed halfway with ice.

Since I used a bubbly wine, I served the Sangria immediately, so that the effevence would shine through. It's okay to store any leftovers in the pitcher in the fridge, but it will lose its bubbles over time.

If you prefer to let the Sangria sit and develop flavors a bit more, feel free to use a regular red wine and let everything sit in the pitcher (refrigerated) for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.

I used black tea, but green or white tea would work well, too.

Also, I have amounts that "range" listed for some ingredients. This is totally up to you, and will affect both the flavor and the potency of the final product, depending on how much you use.

The All Vampire Book and Movie Challenge is hosted by Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles, and meets monthly to discuss a predetermined book and movie relating to vampires. Sometimes the book and movie may be the same (or an adaptation), others they may relate in a more obscure manner.

Once we've read the book and watched the movie, we write a blog post discussing them and how they relate or differ, and perhaps share something that it inspired us to make.

This month's assignment was Vampire$ by John Steakley (book) and Wes Craven's Vampires (the movie adaptation of that book). If you'd like to join the discussion next month, we'll be reading Jane Slayre and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and our posting date will be Sunday, May 29th.

Until then, let me know if you'd read this book and/or seen the movie - and what you thought about either. Also, be sure to check out Kimberly's post over at Coffee and Casseroles to see her perspective and thoughts on this book and movie!